La Mondothèque

From Mondothèque

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For Otlet, the relationships between museum, library, encyclopedia, and classificatory language were a complex and interdependent web of relations, where each element became a point of entry or interface for the other. La Mondothèque had the imaginary capacity to combine scales, perspectives and media.


Humanity is at a turning point in its history. The mass of available information is formidable. New instruments are necessary for simplifying and condensing it, or the intellect will never know how to overcome the difficulties which overwhelm it, nor realise the progress that it glimpses and to which it aspires.[1]

Before our eyes a huge machinery for intellectual work is being built. It is through the combination of various existing specialized machines that, despite the individualism and particularism of their inventors, the necessary links can be foreseen. This machinery is now almost exclusively in the service of industry, of trade and finance. Tomorrow we will put it at the service of the administration and the scientific work and it wonderful general results will be collected.[2]

Reality (objective) is conceptualized by minds (subjective in every category and psychological state). Together minds create knowledge. Expression, documentation, constructs its representation. It leads to action.[3]

  1. Paul Otlet, Traité de documentation, 1934
  2. Paul Otlet, Traité de documentation, 1934
  3. Paul Otlet, 1944